Tag Archives: Night

Open thread for night owls: Excerpts from the March edition of Harper's Index

Here are some excerpts from behind the March Harper’s Index (behind a paywall):

Hours last year for which Germans were paid to use power because supply outstripped demand: 331
Number of other European Union countries that experienced negative power prices last year: 7
Minutes each day by which Finnish fathers spend more time than Finnish mothers with their school-aged children: 8
Number of other developed nations in which fathers spend more time than mothers with school-aged children: 0
Percentage of US news stories about poverty that feature black families: 59
Of US families living under the poverty line that are black: 23
Minimum number of companies and recruiters accused of using Facebook to keep older workers from seeing job ads: 125
Acres of land owned by John Malone, the largest private landowner in the United States: 2,200,000
Factor by which that is larger than Rhode Island: 3.3
Portion of Maryland’s licensed medical-marijuana dispensaries that ran out of product within a week of opening: 5/7
Ratio of snake-removal to fire-alarm calls that Bangkok’s fire department responded to last year: 9:1
Estimated number of US private schools receiving public funding that teach a Christian curriculum: 5,071
That teach an Islamic curriculum: 70
That teach a curriculum inspired by L. Ron Hubbard: 5

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QUOTATION

“Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy.”
               ~George F. Kennan, Foreward to The Pathology of Power by Norman Cousins (1987)

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modern love is your partner calling out “I responded to your email” from the next room

— eve louise ewing is wikipedia brown okay jeez (@eveewing) February 12, 2018

BLAST FROM THE PAST

On this date at Daily Kos in 2009—Happy Birthday, Mr. Darwin: 

The most famous and in some circles, infamous, scientist was born 200 years ago today in Shrewsbury, England. Charles Darwin came into the world like everyone else. He would go out in a spectacular fashion.

Readers here are well aware that evolutionary biology has become an ideological football in modern day America carried tightly by the religious right on the field of political battle. Darwin’s name is so reviled by social conservatives that it is routinely used on the tip of a rhetorical spear and pointed at the heart of the US educational system. But what few people know is that Darwin was aware of the effect his ideas might have on his peers, reportedly starting with one near and dear to his own heart:

Darwin held back the book to avoid offending his wife, said Ruth Padel, the naturalist’s great-great-granddaughter. “She said he seemed to be putting God further and further off,” Padel said in her north London home. “But they talked it through, and she said, “Don’t change any of your ideas for fear of hurting me.'” … The 1859 publication of “On the Origin of Species” changed scientific thought forever — and generated opposition that continues to this day. It is this elegant explanation of how species evolve through natural selection that makes Darwin’s 200th birthday on Feb. 12 such a major event.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin rounds up weekend headlines. Armando joins us to discuss Pence’s diplomatic “brown medal” in Pyeongchang. Nunes’ crazy has an origin story: notorious spy Mike Flynn! Trump and Fox vie to outlie one another on border agent’s death.

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(Video) Poor Andy Robertson got pied by Van Dijk last night…

Liverpool’s giant, chiselled defender Virgil van Dijk chose a high-five with our giant, chiselled midfielder Emre Can last night – instead of our brilliant little left-back Andy Robertson!

The post (Video) Poor Andy Robertson got pied by Van Dijk last night… appeared first on The Empire of The Kop.

Open thread for night owls: States with legalized marijuana dispensaries see fewer opioid deaths

Mother Jones:

[A] growing body of evidence suggests that legal access to medical marijuana could in fact help reduce overdose deaths. The latest study, published by the RAND Corporation this week, found that states that allowed liberal access to marijuana through legally protected dispensaries saw reduced deaths from opioid overdoses. States that legalized the drug but didn’t allow dispensaries didn’t see the same pattern.  

Among states with dispensaries, those that legalized medical marijuana before 2010 saw larger reductions in opioid deaths than those that legalized it afterwards. The authors hypothesize that’s because the late adopters tend to have more stringent rules that make it harder to get marijuana, requiring patients to take additional steps such as registering with the state or repeatedly seeing a doctor to confirm a need for medical marijuana. (The researchers examined state-level data from 1999 to 2013, so weren’t able to gauge the effects of legalizing recreational marijuana altogether.) “The key feature of medical marijuana law that facilitates a reduction in overdose rates is a relatively liberal allowance for dispensaries,” the researchers concluded.

The reason for this, previous research has suggested, is that marijuana can help treat chronic pain, thus reducing the need for opioids.

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If Adam Rippon wins a medal, Mike Pence has to personally bake a gay wedding cake. Sorry, those are just the rules.

— Jess Dweck (@TheDweck) February 12, 2018

BLAST FROM THE PAST

On this date at Daily Kos in 2013—Kochsman Marco Rubio likely to offer same old, same old energy ideas in State of the Union response:

Rebecca Leber at Think Progress points out that Sen. Marco Rubio may perhaps include something about the need for more dirty energy in the official Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address tonight.

It certainly would be no surprise given that Rubio is one of the five senators who, for his votes, received an A+ last year from Americans for Prosperity, the advocacy group founded and funded by the brothers Koch—David and Charles—to ensure, among other things, that nothing substantive on climate change or green energy manages to emerge from the Senate or the House.

Rubio himself got a career total of $32,200 from Koch Industries, $353,891 from the Koch-connected Club for Growth and $252,134 from the oil and gas industries.

While he isn’t as aggressive a climate-change denier as, say, Sen. James “It’s a hoax” Inhofe, Rubio does still deny in his smarmy way as can seen in this exchange hosted by Buzzfeed just a week ago:

Ben Smith: Do you see global warming as a threat to Florida?

Rubio: The climate is always changing, that’s not the question. The question is if man made activity is what’s contributing the most to it. I know people said there’s a significant scientific consensus on that issue, but I’ve actually seen reasonable debate on that principle. 

Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at Stitcher.com), and find a live stream there, by searching for “Netroots Radio.”

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Saturday open thread for night owls. Aronoff: The case for nationalizing Elon Musk

Kate Aronoff at In These Times writes—The Case for Nationalizing Elon Musk. When companies like SpaceX make it big, they’d be obligated to return some portion of their gains to the public infrastructure that helped them succeed, expanding the government’s capacity to facilitate more innovative development:

On Tuesday, Elon Musk launched some stuff into space. The SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket was shot into the Solar System, tailed by a Tesla Roadster blasting David Bowie songs, reportedly the fastest car ever to be released into orbit. Each Falcon launch is only expected to cost around $90 million—a bargain in the world of extraterrestrial exploration.

Scientific American gawked, “Elon Musk Does It Again,” praising the “bold technological innovations and newfound operational efficiencies that allow SpaceX to not only build its rockets for less money, but also reuse them.” That view—shared by several other outlets—fits comfortably with the Tony Stark-like image Musk has crafted for himself over the years: a quirky and slightly off-kilter playboy genius inventor capable of conquering everything from outer space to the climate crisis with the sheer force of his imagination.

One of Musk’s long-term goals is to create a self-sustaining colony on Mars, and make humanity an interplanetary species. He hopes to shoot two very wealthy people around the moon at some point this year. Musk has invested an awful lot of public money into making those dreams a reality. But why should Americans keep footing the bill for projects where only Musk and his wealthy friends can reap the rewards? Enter: the case for nationalizing Elon Musk, and making the U.S. government a major stakeholder in his companies.

The common logic now holds that the private sector—and prodigies like Musk, in particular—are better at coming up with world-changing ideas than the public sector, which is allegedly bloated and allergic to new, outside-the-box thinking. Corporations’ hunt for profits and lack of bureaucratic constraints, it’s said, compel cutting-edge research and development in a way that the government is simply incapable of. With any hope, more of these billionaires’ breakthroughs than not will be in the public interest.

The reality, as economist Mariana Mazzucato argues in her 2013 book The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths, is very different. Many of the companies that are today considered to be headed by brilliant savants—people like Steve Jobs and, yes, Elon Musk—owe much of their success to decades of public sector innovation, through repackaging technologies developed over the course of several decades into new products. Take the iPhone, essentially a collection of Defense Department research and National Science Foundation-grant projects packed into one shiny machine.

“The prospect of the State owning a stake in a private corporation may be anathema to many parts of the capitalist world,” Mazzucato writes, “but given that governments are already investing in the private sector, they may as well earn a return on those investments.”

As she notes, Musk’s future-oriented empire—Tesla Motors, SolarCity and SpaceX—has benefitted from around $5 billion in local, state and federal government support, not to mention many years of foundational public research into programs like rocket technology. SpaceX itself exists largely for the sake of competing for government contracts, like its $5.5 billion partnership with NASA and the U.S. Air Force. The U.S. Department of Energy invested directly in that company, as well as in Tesla’s work on battery technology and solar panels. The latter is perhaps the biggest success story of the Department of Energy stimulus grant that also supported Solyndra, a solar energy company reliably held up by the Right as an example of the government’s failure to make wise investment decisions. “Taxpayers footed the bill for Solyndra’s losses—yet got hardly any of Tesla’s profits,” Mazzucato notes. […]

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New meta-analysis of 54 studies shows hierarchy negatively impacts team effectiveness. (Which you already know if you worked anywhere.) https://t.co/mFR4EyD6WZ

— Micah Zenko (@MicahZenko) February 11, 2018

BLAST FROM THE PAST

On this date at Daily Kos in 2011—House GOP meltdown over budget cuts: 

Basically we’re seeing two factions in the GOP these days, the ORCs and the YATs.

The first are the Opportunist Republican Cynics (ORCs), and they are still the dominant faction. They are led by John Boehner, and they are basically the same people who drove America’s economy into the ground under George W. Bush. They’ve regained power thanks to tea partiers, Fox News, and a willingness to parrot the doomsdayer teahadist rhetoric about spending and debt, but they also understand that actually following through on what they promised would be a political disaster of epic proportion. The problem for ORCs is that they don’t have anything else to offer because they last time they were allowed to drive policy decisions for the GOP, they ended up thoroughly discrediting the party.

The other faction are the Yelling Angry Teahadists (YATs). They don’t control the GOP leadership, but there’s enough of them that the GOP needs them to maintain its majority. The YATs believe everything they said during the campaign about how Obama is the second coming of Karl Marx and how spending is destroying America. They really believe the only way to save America is to eliminate the deficit and they believe the deficit can be balanced by immediately cutting spending by hundreds of billions of dollars. And they believe the rest of America agrees with them. YATs are the only Republicans with any real enthusiasm, but that’s mostly because their ideas haven’t yet been discredited by the test of reality.

Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at Stitcher.com), and find a live stream there, by searching for “Netroots Radio.”

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Open thread for night owls: Loss of a wild descendant of the 23 survivors of 19th century slaughter

At the Buffalo Field Campaign, Stephanie Seay writes—The Tragic Loss of a Matriarch:

She was a powerful leader from the imperiled Central herd. A direct descendant from the original twenty-three survivors, her ancestors who saved themselves from the U.S. Government’s attempted genocide during the nineteenth century, when nearly 60 million used to roam the continent.

She gained her immense wisdom being taught by her own mother and grandmother, as they, in turn, learned from theirs, and on down the family lineage, since buffalo time began. Like the mothers before her, she taught the young ones where to find the best water, where to give birth, where to find the best grasses and sedges, how to escape the deepest snow, how to stick together to stay safe from predators, and, indeed, how to flee to the thick forests to escape helicopters, horse riders, ATVs, and law enforcement during hazing season.

Years ago, she had been captured and violated by Yellowstone biologists, who placed a thick leather radio collar around her neck to keep track of her movements. They labeled her “S3.” We loathe these collars and what they represent for any wildlife, partly because they are highly visible and recognizable. As much time as we spend with the buffalo, we know many individuals by the shape of their horns, the color of their fur, their scars, nicks, hair dos, but those collars, tools of the panopticon, are worn by a few unlucky adult females, and they make undeniable identifiers.

These collars, we have been told, are supposed to just fall off after a few years. But, we’ve seen no evidence of this, as many of the females who are forced to wear them have been wearing them for close to a decade. S3 was no exception. We knew her for many years.

In the most recent times, we had seen her here in the Hebgen Basin, coming to her spring calving grounds. Again, this winter, she arrived with her large, extended family, in the company of a couple other collared females, including “A3,” “K4,” and one who had a collar with no identifying marks. When she and her family arrived, so did scores of hunters. Some of her friends and relatives were killed by hunters, and she took the survivors away to safety.

On three different occasions this kind of scene played out. She and her herd would arrive, hunters would follow, make as many kills as they could, and she would leave once again, bringing her family back to where she knew they were safe. She was also the one who surprised us by taking an unusual route, not along the bluffs of the Madison River, but through the thick woods to the north, seeking shelter and a quick departure through the trees.

One day, after leaving this way for a second time, she pleasantly shocked us while we were checking on some bachelor bull buffalo — she had lead her people far north of where the family groups tend to migrate, and we found her and over 100 others in the company of these bulls. Something most of us had never seen before, and others hadn’t seen for nearly twenty years. Again, she and her family returned, and again the hunters came, and again she lead her people to safety. Then, not long after that, two weeks ago, our Gardiner patrol spotted her in the Gardiner Basin, all the way to the north.

She was living proof that Central herd buffalo migrate into both Basins, suffering both tragic consequences . She was with a herd of about 80 buffalo, on the school football field, with no less than five of the young bulls who escaped quarantine last month. It was so amazing to ponder her journey, the decisions she made and why.

Last weekend, she came back to the west side, to the Hebgen Basin, sadly, for the last time. A hunt party had found her and they took her life. Our patrols, when confronting the hunters, had asked if they had shot a male or female. They said they didn’t know, “but it [sic] had this collar thing on.” When we asked what the collar said, one person in the group said that it looked like “53.” We were crushed. We knew then that not only had S3 returned one more time, but it was her the hunters killed.

They didn’t know her sex before they killed her, they didn’t consider that it might be unwise to shoot a collared buffalo, never mind the dangers of killing any female from the Central herd, but, even after field dressing her, they still didn’t know she was a female. The following morning, our patrols found a calf in her womb, left there in the gut pile.

Her wisdom, her journey, her unborn calf, and her contributions to the survival of this herd were simply snuffed out. Her story is over. And she is not alone. She’s just one who had the unfortunate luck to be captured by biologists and therefor marked. But, so many buffalo share the trials and tribulations that she did. These sacred buffalo have to constantly run the gauntlet, just trying to survive, just trying to make it through winter and keep their families alive.

Everywhere they go, there are humans waiting to do them harm, should they dare cross the line out of Yellowstone. Yellowstone’s bison biologists have recommended a cease fire in the Hebgen Basin, since only Central herd buffalo move through here. But, they also move north into the Gardiner Basin, where Yellowstone is greasing the gears of their infamous buffalo trap. Soon, not even Yellowstone will be a safe place for our national mammal.

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QUOTATION

“The most obvious manifestation of the affordable housing crisis is in rising rents. Between 1900 and 2013, rents rose faster than inflation in virtually every region of the country and in cities, suburbs, and rural areas alike. But there is another important factor at work here that is an even bigger part of the story than the hikes in rent: a fall in the earnings of renters. Between 2000 and 2012 alone, rents rose by 6 percent. During that same period, the real income of the middling renter in the United States fell 13 percent. What was once a fissure has become a wide chasm that often can’t be bridged.” 
               Kathryn Edin, $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America (2015)

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He came here an undocumented baby.Ours is the only country he’s ever known.He’s now a journalist and volunteer first responder.Yesterday he rescued a drowning child and was detained by ICE agents. They want to deport him.But there’s a problem.Krypton no longer exists.

— Victor Laszlo (@Impolitics) February 9, 2018

BLAST FROM THE PAST

On this date at Daily Kos in 2005—The bottom line:

Why should we care about Jeff Gannon?

A potential male prostitute gets White House credentials using a fake name, provides McClellan a welcome ideological lifeline during press conferences, and somehow gets access to classified CIA documents that outs an undercover CIA operative.

White House-credentialed fake news reporter “Jeff Gannon” from fake news agency “Talon News” was cited by the Washington Post as having the only access to an internal CIA memo that named Joseph Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, as a covert CIA agent. Gannon, in a question posed to Wilson in an October 2003 interview, referred to the memo (to which no other news outlet had access, according to the Post). Gannon subsequently has been subpoenaed by the federal grand jury looking into the Plame outing.

John over at AmericaBLOG has gone all-Gannon today, helping to summarize much of the material dug up by our own intrepid bloggers and providing hard proof for many of the allegations in this story.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Gov’t shuts down overnight, then opens again. Trump finds a new all-in-one grift and obstruction tool. But he’s still too dumb to read, or care how being so god-awful dumb endangers us all. Darwin Darko offers a service member’s take on Trump’s parade.

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About Last Trivia Night

There’s something special to be said about routine. Whatever your weekly flow might be, I wanted to share with you one of my routines: Going to bar trivia night on Mondays.

Let me say now that my team, or whatever team I happen to be playing on, is not usually a powerhouse. We’ve come everywhere between first and last place, and we’re no where near consistent in our rankings. Last week, we came in second place overall. This week, we came in thirteenth. In honor of my poor performance, I wanted to take this opportunity to share a few sage and universal tips that I’ve learned through my Monday evening routine.

Get into the Spirit

If you’re the type of person trying to Google the answers to the trivia question, I would like to tell you that I hate you. Competitive people may disagree with me here, but there really is not any point in cheating at something as low stakes as bar trivia. Nothing feels like more of a bummer than working hard just to have to try to compete with cheaters.

When doing something (anything!) you better put your heart into it. If you’re thinking about starting a business, you will need to devote yourself to it. If you’re not really in it, you’re not gonna make progress. You can’t always rush or half-ass things. Not all answers in life can be found on Google. You are better than cheating to win.

Trust Your Gut

More often than not, your first instincts will be right. If something pops out at you from the dusty corners of your brain in relation to a pop culture question, you should trust it. Do you know what Alexander Fleming discovered? The answer is penicillin, but you didn’t trust your instincts. You put Pluto instead. (Yeah, I know that was a bad answer, but don’t @ me.)

Intuition is something special. If something simply doesn’t feel right, maybe you should reconsider or at least take time to think about that feeling. There’s nothing wrong with following that initial gut reaction.

Feeling Discouraged?

Just this past week, my team came in nearly last place. While we were certainly not happy with the outcome, we know that we can come back and have a clean slate next week. While winning is really fun, it’s okay to not win all the time.

If you’re feeling less than thrilled about whatever it is you are working on, there is always another day to try to make better. Don’t let some bumps in the road make you feel like everything is ruined. If you’re passionate about what you’re working on, just take a little break and then get back to it.

You’re a star, and I know that with some practice, you can come in first place! But it’s okay to come in last place sometimes, too.

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Open thread for night owls. Cronin: Resistance must do more to put forward people with disabilities

Eileen Cronin’s memoir, Mermaid, is on Oprah Winfrey’s list of Best Memoirs of 2014 and has been translated into three other languages. The memoir is about growing up in the 1960s without legs below the knee. At TruthDig, where she is a regular contributor, Cronin writes—39 Million Reasons to Know Us:

I am a woman. In 2017 I marched for miles, on two artificial legs, along with my husband and 750,000 others in the first Women’s March Los Angeles. […]

We are a family invested in the civil rights of all people. With each civil rights breakthrough, however, this bittersweet truth emerges: The rights of people like me are not celebrated. […]

Even though there are 56 million Americans with disabilities, 39 million of whom are voters, neither the resistance nor the Democratic Party greet us as allies. We don’t have speakers at marches who tell our stories, or leaders who wax on about our accomplishments and who inspire crowds to witness our achievements along with the achievements of other minority groups.

When I read in The RespectAbility Report that only 49 percent of Americans with disabilities voted for Hillary Clinton, even after Donald Trump insulted a New York Times reporter with a disability, I suspected that my community was upset that this investigative journalist was repeatedly referred to as a “disabled reporter” in campaign ads. His name is Serge Kovaleski, and he contributed to a Pulitzer Prize-winning article. […]

Democrats and the resistance should both be looking to include women from my community to help win over the votes of the other half of the disability community. It is a myth that all people with disabilities vote Democrat. The disability community includes swing voters from every state, every racial group and every gender variation. Although the entire disability community has 39 million votes at stake, disability is not a characteristic studied in many election polls. Maybe that is a practice that should be reconsidered. […]

Our community is hard at work connecting with anyone who physically cannot attend future events through the Disability March online, started by writers Sarah EinsteinSonya Huber and Andrea Scarpino. In the San Francisco Bay Area, Alice Wong is actively organizing online connectivity for all people with disabilities, but we deserve a place at the podium in future rallies, a voice from our community.

With 39 million votes, we should not have to fight to join this army.

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QUOTATION

“There is one forecast of which you can already be sure: someday renewable energy will be the only way for people to satisfy their energy needs. Because of the physical, ecological and (therefore) social limits to nuclear and fossil energy use, ultimately nobody will be able to circumvent renewable energy as the solution, even if it turns out to be everybody’s last remaining choice. The question keeping everyone in suspense, however, is whether we shall succeed in making this radical change of energy platforms happen early enough to spare the world irreversible ecological mutilation and political and economic catastrophe.”
               ~Herman Scheer, Energy Autonomy: The Economic Social & Technological Case for Renewable Energy (2006)
 

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BLAST FROM THE PAST

On this date at Daily Kos in 2014—It’s odd how managing the menfolk’s sextimes never turns into a movement:

You never seem to hear the conservative all-our-religion-is-belong-to-you outrage machine on this stuff.

The federal Department of Health and Human Services dispatched its Office of Inspector General to review Medicare payments for vacuum erection systems, less formally known as penis pumps.
Certainly, there may certainly be individual wags out there who are miffed that their tax dollars are going for medical treatments to allow older people to have sex. There may be cranky folks who do not think that anyone should be getting Viagra for any reason, because if God wanted them to have an erection God would have taken care of that already.

But it’s not a movement. You don’t see a dozen conservative women all lined up in a row to testify to Congress that allowing men past childbearing age to have sex is an abomination unto their Lord, or nationwide hobby supply shops demanding that the entire national health care system be restructured to allow them to personally decide which of their male employees ought not to be receiving medical care for insufficient sexytimes. Their religion may dictate that nobody have sex unless they are married, and unless they are fertile, but there is no nationwide, Fox-News-covered movement afoot to demand that the appropriate health care remedies be given only to married and fertile people. You don’t hear the Fox News talking heads going on about that.

It’s only American women that get that treatment.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin knows right away: Rob Porter is the story of the day. Who is this jerk, and what’s the source of his privilege? Would conservatives “boycotting” Republicans be enough to right their ship? Maybe, if they were just a political party and not MS-14. 

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Travis Scott Does 'His Thing During the Day,' Helps Kylie Jenner with Baby Stormi at Night: Source

Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott are modern parents.

The couple, who welcomed their first child last week, daughter Stormi Webster, are not officially living together — but they’re co-parenting just fine, according to a source.

“Kylie and Travis are a good team,” says the insider, explaining that Scott, 25, comes and goes but is great with the baby when he’s around, an arrangement that Jenner, 20, is perfectly happy with.

“Travis is able to do his own thing during the day as well, but he helps Kylie out at night,” says the source. “He has cut down on work and only has a few shows coming up.”

RELATED: New Mom Kylie Jenner’s Family Is ‘Pitching in and Helping So She Can Do Things Like Shower’

A second source tells PEOPLE that the rapper is “very much involved — as his family.”

“Kylie and Travis seem to be doing really well together,” adds the source. “Kylie is so happy to be a mom.”

RELATED VIDEO: 5 Lessons Baby Stormi Can Learn from the Kar-Jenner Clan

Earlier this week, a source told PEOPLE that the new parents are still keeping separate households: Scott has his own place, but is spending plenty of time and sleeping over at Jenner’s with the baby.

“Kylie and Travis are not officially living together,” said the insider. “They are co-parenting though, and things are going great. They are together and happy.”

The source also said the couple, who have been dating since April 2017, are in no rush to take the next step in their relationship and still have no plans to get married.

“They’re just enjoying their little family,” said the source, adding that Scott is “very sweet with his daughter.”